ROBSON DOKOVIC – the Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office – has reportedly responded to claims in an article published in the Solomon Star newspaper last Thursday.
The article was written by former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Immigration and Labour, George Kosui. Among other things, Mr. Kosui, questioned why Mr. Djokovic whom he described as “a convicted criminal, drug user/addict and fraudster” continued to be employed at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mr. Kosui listed four cases involving Mr. Djokovic, dealt with by the Magistrates Court in Queensland between 2003 and 2006. He pleaded guilty to three. He pleaded not guilty to the first case in 2003, but the Court gave a guilty verdict in its judgement.
But Mr. Djokovic hit back, saying he has not breached or broken any law, adding Mr. Kosui had nothing else to say and was simply repeating the same rhetoric.
“The issues Mr. Kosui raised have already been answered. Check the Queensland law in relation to past convictions and no conviction has been recorded,” Mr. Djokovic reportedly said.
Mr. Djokovic is the nephew of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. His appeal against his citizenship conviction is before the Court of Appeal. This followed a ruling by the High Court last year that while Mr. Djokovic was an indigenous Solomon Islands national, he was not a citizen after he opted to take up Australian citizenship, renouncing his Solomon Islands’ citizenship in the process.
The citizenship issue has implications for his voting in the 2019 National General Election.
He was charged with three counts – first for obtaining registration by false pretense Contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code, the second for Fraudulent Voting Contrary to Section 120 (c) of the Electoral Act 2018 and Prohibition of a non-citizen from membership of a Political Party Contrary to section 41 (1) of the Political Parties Integrity Act 2014., according to police.
These charges are pending while his issue of citizenship is dealt with by the Court of Appeal, expected to convene for the year in April.